Impressive Gran designs on triump in York
GRAN CANARIA QUEEN can claim round four of her ongoing battle with Ridge Ranger in the 888sport Choose EBF Nominated Fillies' Stakes at York.
The pair have repeatedly clashed this term, with Ridge Ranger currently holding sway with two victories to her credit at Wetherby and Chester while Gran Canaria Queen emerged on top at Ripon.
Racing off level weights at Wetherby, Gran Canaria Queen was beaten two lengths but receiving 7lb at Ripon, she turned that form on its head as she prevailed by a neck.
Her supremacy was to be short lived, though, as Ridge Ranger bounced back to winning form at Chester last time out with Gran Canaria Queen beaten a short head on 1lb worse terms.
However, the tight circuit on the Roodee did not appear to play to her strengths and after getting a little outpaced, she ran on strongly at the death, suggesting a more galloping track would suit.
Gran Canaria Queen is back to having a 7lb advantage and with Tim Easterby opting to let Rachel Richardson to take off another 7lb, the Compton Place mare really should emerge on top this time.
REX IMPERATOR has slipped a long way in the weights since winning the 2013 Stewards' Cup and merits plenty of interest in the Geoff Pemberton Stakes.
Rated as high as 110 at his best, Rex Imperator thoroughly lost his way in good company last year and struggled to find his way back, ending the year on a mark of 95.
Subsequently switched to the care of David O'Meara, the Nawton handler appears to be slowly working his magic with the six-year-old who showed a glimpse of a return to form when third on his most recent outing.
Beaten just under two lengths by a stablemate, Rex Imperator now sits on a perch of 84 - his lowest ever mark - and he can fully exploit that lowly rating.
SOLO HUNTER the pick in the George Lindon-Travers Memorial Handicap at Sandown following a decent effort in defeat at Windsor.
A winner for Martyn Meade on his seasonal bow at Leicester in April, he was subsequently hiked 9lb and upped to 10 furlongs from an extended mile and only just failed to prevail.
Another 4lb rise is hardly ideal but the presence of 7lb claimer Adam McLean in the saddle will certainly help on that front.
VON BLUCHER is worth watching in the Breeders Backing Racing EBF Maiden Stakes for the Derby-winning team of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori.
SCOONER can strike gold at the first attempt in handicap company in the Eric Parker Memorial Stakes at Goodwood.
He finally came good at the third attempt when beating a useful Michael Stoute-trained newcomer at Wolverhampton, winning in tidy fashion.
Related to a handful of black type performers, he should now be an upward curve after scoring his first win.